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HealthInfo Canterbury

About asthma in adults


In an emergency, call an ambulance by dialling 111. For information about what to do next, see Asthma emergency.

Asthma affects the lungs. It causes a variety of symptoms due to narrowing and inflammation of your airways. These symptoms can include:

Asthma is common in New Zealand and it can start at any age. Some children have asthma when they are younger, and grow out of it, but not all do.

The exact cause of asthma is not known. It is associated with allergies and it runs in families. Symptoms of asthma are triggered by something in the environment, or something that you do.

Common triggers include:

Most people with asthma can control their symptoms with the right treatment, usually inhalers. It is important to use your inhaler as your doctor tells you. It is also important to follow your action plan or seek medical advice if your asthma gets worse.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Diagnosing asthma in adults

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by community respiratory physician, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed May 2017.


Page reference: 374063

Review key: HIASA-39947